E3 in 2024 in Paris

Steen Kobberø-Hansen from the ERA Board and the E-paths Working Group participated on behalf of ERA in the two last hikes in the event Grand Randonnee Vers Paris.

At the final end a french hiker Jean Claude, Mimmo Pandolfo as honorary president of ERA, and Steen put water from 6 rivers into the Seine. This is a ceremony invented in 2011 at the Eurorando in Spain. The purpose is to signal unity, friendship and relationships. The event in Paris was invented by honorary member of ERA, Joep Naeper, who gave the bottle to Jean Claude in Schengen. The bottle there consisted of water from 3 rivers.

The event ended at the town hall with many speeches. Steen made the ERA speech.

This is Steen’s speech at the town hall of Paris:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Esteemed Hikers,

Today, as we gather in the luminous city of Paris, we close a chapter that began in the historic village of Schengen, a name that resonates with freedom, cooperation, and unity across Europe. My name is Steen Kobberø-Hansen, and as a dedicated representative of the European Ramblers Association, I am profoundly honored to stand before you to commemorate the completion of our march along the venerable E-path E3.

This journey has been more than a mere physical traversal of landscapes; it has been a profound pilgrimage through the heart of Europe, a celebration of our shared heritage and a reaffirmation of our collective values. From Schengen to Paris, we retraced the steps of ancestors and visionaries, each step a testament to our commitment to understanding, sustainability, and peace.

In Schengen, where our journey commenced, we were reminded of the transformative power of unity—a village where once-divisive borders have dissolved, inspiring a continent and beyond. Here, in Europe, the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of the Olympic Games, we embrace the spirit of those ancient competitions, which sought to honor peace and human excellence through athletic prowess. Today, we channel that spirit not through competition but through camaraderie, as we hike across borders and cultures.

Today, on the 11th of May, we are witness to a remarkable convergence: Walkers from all corners of France have followed seven diverse routes, each path winding towards this grand city of Paris. This convergence symbolizes the unity and accessibility of walking as an activity—it is truly a sport that anyone can enjoy, anywhere, at any time.

Our paths have woven through landscapes rich with history and alive with the spirit of cooperation—the very essence of what the European Ramblers Association stands for. We walked as individuals from diverse backgrounds but marched as one, embodying the Olympic ideal of bringing together people from all corners of the world in a celebration of shared human endeavor.

As we reflect on our journey, let us cherish the memories created, the friendships forged, and the landscapes explored. Let this be a reminder of our ongoing mission to promote walking as a way to understand our past and to protect our future. Each step on our journey has strengthened our resolve to preserve the beauty of our environment and the richness of our cultures.

As this march concludes, our commitment does not end. We carry forward the torch of unity, understanding, and respect. Let us continue to walk with purpose, to inspire others to join us, and to build bridges where there are gaps. Until we meet again, may your steps be light, your paths be inspiring, and your journeys be fulfilling.

Thank you, fellow walkers, for every kilometer conquered, every story shared, and every moment cherished. Keep walking with hope, with joy, and with peace.